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TTRS started life as an offshoot of my own racing endeavors back in 1978 when I ran a Caldwell D13 Formula Vee back in the Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs, however the seeds were spawned well before then. My interest in cars and racing was instilled when I was just a kid, no doubt due to the fact that my Dad was a mechanic and his love of cars was passed down to me. It didn't hurt that my Mom was somewhat of a leadfoot either as I remember her at the wheel of our Chrysler speeding down old Route 66 on some of our summer vacations. I can still hear Dad's roar from the back seat, SLOW DOWN!
Speed Racer and her mechanic Mr. Fix It!
The "Pre-Kid" days with their Packard Coupe Convertible
It's all their fault TTRS was born!!!
Like most American kids growing up in the fifties and sixties Hot Rods, Muscle Cars and Drag Racing were all the rage and I had my subscriptions to "Hot Rod" and "Car Craft" magazines long before I could drive. Building models was a great hobby which led to various mechanical skills such as rebuilding carburetors starting at about age 12. Shortly after getting my driver's license and with a desire to start modifying my own car I started my first business, "Performance Parts and Supply", in order to obtain parts at a discount for myself and offer parts for sale to my high school buddies to make a little extra cash.
After graduation I moved from my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Phoenix, Arizona and this is where the first great step that led me on the road to Sports and Road Racing cars began. In 1971 I went to work as a mechanic for a little dealership called "The Flying Dutchman BMW"! At the time there were not a lot of people who were really familiar with that marque and as such we worked on a lot of different European imports such as Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes, MG, VW and so on. The owner, Egon Von Schrieber, was a taskmaster from the old country and I got quite an education with a good dose of discipline thrown in! The experience was enlightening and not at all typical but it set the tone for my future.
I ended up moving back to Milwaukee and got into the Corvette scene which led me to get introduced to one of my most important mentors and great friend Mr. Allen Bonk. I met Al quite by chance when I entered a Corvette in a local ISCA car show. When I bought the car it was modified with flares and a custom paint job, which back in 1974 was very common, and Al happened to be at that show and asked if I was the owner. I told him yes and he informed me that he was the fellow who did the bodywork and paint. We struck up a friendship and also ended up sharing a shop for a time which led me to start my second business "Compvettes". Through this arrangement with Al I had the opportunity to learn bodywork, fiberglass repair and paintwork during the time I spent performing mechanical repairs and modifications on Corvettes.
1968 Corvette 427 With Custom Paint And Bodywork By Al Bonk
After a while I decided it was time to move on and make some "serious" money and I ended up taking a job at a Datsun, Subaru, Peugeot dealership called Zimdars Motors in 1977. This is where I met another of my mentors, Harold Zimdars, and where TTRS finally evolved. Harold had been a road racer and was very involved with the Sports Car scene in the Milwaukee/Midwest area. He was the person who encouraged me to get the D13 as he was a former Autodynamics (Caldwell) dealer and felt it would be a good choice. I must say he was right and with his coaching I was able to complete my first season in Midwest Council finishing third overall in class and earning the MCSCC Rookie of the Year honors. In addition to this I was also introduced to the world of Midget racing as Harold sponsored a car for a local driver and I ended up helping out. The attraction to oval racing was quite great as I had always been a big fan of Indy racing. I ended up spending an enormous amount of time chasing dirt and paved ovals working on these cars and I eventually left Zimdars to go out on my own and TTRS was official!
Ah, The Thrill Of Victory...1978 Blackhawk Farms Raceway
Now although this is where the story of TTRS really starts I much rather continue telling it through our Restorations/Photo Gallery and Projects pages. Suffice to say, to quote a line from the Grateful Dead, "What a long strange trip it's been" but it's not over yet!
I hope you'll enjoy the upcoming stories and photos from things like the Midget/Sprint Period, my time at Condor/Cooke-Woods Racing, Grand Touring Cars with the Mirage M12, and a very educational stint at Fast Eddy Engines. Then of course the fun stuff at my own shop from restorations/prep on various cars like Alfa Romeo, Austin Healey, Cobra and Maserati sports cars to Bobsy, Lotus, Lightning and Porsche race cars and more. I'll also cover auction events and our track service at Vintage, SCCA, Porsche and other club events where I was able to meet and become friends with so many great people!